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Hi Eeyore,


Thanks for askin'. We just got back home from Intensive today. Cautiously claiming my miracle. You know how it is when you get back home and those old habits confront, but from all appearances my old "wife" (the old responding and temperamental husband) is gone and I've got a new husband. It looks and sounds as if it has sunk deeply into his heart. I got some major healing at the Intensive. Oh. My. The Intensive is SO worth it!!


More later....I hope....

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Awesome! I did not realize that you guys were at the Intensive last weekend. Glad that it was a good experience for you guys.


Take things one day at a time, and know that you will hit bumps. That is okay, as long as you are moving forward, and working toward a common goal. Stay connected, get on the calls, keep posting... Share your story, and let others help you along the way.


So glad that you are doing great!! ::clap

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I'm reluctant. . . Cautiously, I'll repeat, that my husband is a new man. Dare I say it? I mean, Four days on our own since the Intensive. Four days, to me it feels like a miracle, but I'm cautious. I am not just holding his feet to the fire, I'm holding his face to the fire.


He can't even joke about it and there is no "poor me" about it. He has crossed the line a couple times: One morning he was joking about being the little boy and me the mommy---he was only jesting a brief little instant and I told him to stop it. He stopped it immediately and apologized and told me that he understands it's no joking matter. He told me he'll joke about things that are funny, but for right now, that's not even funny and he's sorry.


This is how hard I am on him: Yesterday while I was fixing lunch, my back was turned to him and he mumbled something that I didn't even hear. Sounded like he was mocking himself and I told him "I'm not sure what you just said, but stop it!" He did, but didn't claim to know what he was doing. Several minutes later he told me "Oh, I know what I was doing and thinking when you said to stop and it was wrong, I'm so sorry!"


We've had a few other incidents, those are the examples of the shortest and easiest to resolve. But even the more difficult matters that have arisen in the last four days have resolved not from ME figuring things out and smoothing things over, but from his own heart and his effort.


I told him that I'm done fixing him. He has all the knowledge and imformation that he needs after the Intensive, I'm not going to nurse him through it. Not right now anyway.


When i told him that during the Intensive I thought I'd have to work at not helping him. The truth is, Monday evening when we got home and we were relaxing, he started into some of his old ways. I told him to stop, but for the life of me I could not think what was happening, why it was happening or what to do about it. A couple weeks ago, I would have lectured him for two days about what he was doing wrong and how to fix it!! But on Monday I didn't have a clue! My husband (who incidentally is now going by the name of Freedog now on the men's forum) pulled out his folder from the Intensive and said "Oh yeah! That's my arrested development" and he fixed it himself. Maybe ten minutes tops and I didn't do a thing to help him besides tell him to stop. That in itself is a miracle.


Yesterday he vacuumed the whole house. Normally it makes me feel horribly anxious when he vacuums or does stuff "for me", but I wasn't feeling any of that anxiety. I thanked him and mentioned that it felt a whole lot different than it used to when he vacuumed. I suggested that it felt like he wasn't vacuuming because he, my husband is wonderful, but because I am wonderful. It just felt way different even though visibly it looked identical to how it would have looked two weeks ago. I wondered if the difference was inside me or inside him. He agreed that his attitude is a whole lot different, that he was doing it from his heart. It was actually nice to have him doing something for me instead of feeling resistant to it.


One thing about the Intensive that terrified me beforehand is that I thought we would "have to" make love a lot afterward. It terrified me! My fears were unfounded. That said, the fear of love making is also slowly slipping away and at least for now...cautiously...cautiously...I feel some huge healing in that department. Like the vacuuming, my husband has had a change of heart and the attitude is changed. The pressure is, dare I say "gone"? Let's just say that in the same way I don't feel the same resentment about him vacuuming, I don't feel the same resentment about his winks and suggestions.


It's very scary. Given his history of one day on and one day off, it's very scary to let go of my protective barriers. I'm being very generous to post this now, four days is not long enough to me to prove that he's not going to emotionally leave me even this very hour.


But he keeps reassuring and promising and sending texts and emails when he's gone and the kids are relaxing and spending time home with us and he's letting me hold his face to the fire. He's wants me to not let him get away with anything.


We are going to change the church we go to because of Joel and Kathy's suggestion. My husband is taking care of me, instead of "leaving it up to me", BIG difference. I'm having lunch today with one of my friends from church. She's going through a divorce---Kathy told me I need to stop taking care of people and let people take care of me for awhile. Of my three friends who I'm taking care of right now, the one I'm having lunch with is the least draining. In fact she's energizing. She's Peruvian and she's very open and honest and loving, so I think this will be OK. Her husband is an idiot, he has the world believing that he has a right to divorce her because of her severe anger issues, but she is such a treasure!!! She is so full of love and she is so willing to take back the idiot with loving arms, but he's living with a girlfriend right now. Anyhow, I think this lunch will be OK.


There's so much more to talk about. I'd love to talk about what happened at the Intensive. If things keep going so well, maybe I'll be able to share. If things don't continue to go well then I'll either be in an insane assylum or in prison, so I probably won't want to talk about the Intensive ever again!


Even if that happens, I want to thank Joel and Kathy for the best week ever in our marriage. If things go downhill today and I end up depressed for the rest of my life, at least I've had one wonderful week of marriage. Thank-you!!!


I should also mention, just in case any guys are reading this that my husband is LOVING growing up. He is so relaxed and content like he's never been before and of course I love for him to feel relaxed and content. You know what? His voice has gotten deeper!! I told him that it might mean he's grown from a two year old to a pre-teen! His voice is maturing. Very sexy!!

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I wish we had a window of time that we could edit our posts after submitting. That way I could edit instead of pointing out my error.


I said we are going to change the church.


We are not going to change the church. Whoa!!


We are going to begin going to a different church! The church we've been attending off and on since the 80's is toxic to me right now. I keep going because "they need me". But my husband is going to help me break that bondage. The church we will begin attending is one we attended for 6 months at one time and then the old church sucked me back in. . . . because I felt like they needed me. They don't.

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Crystal, WOW! Your post sounds SO much like me! I fixed (or TRIED to fix) my husband for our entire marriage! (Of course, it did NOT work!) :roll: And he "left it up to me" on all of our decisions, etc. Same pattern.


My husband did start recognizing the patterns of his hurt and apologizing. For us it was not right after the Intensive, it took about 4 1/2 months for my him to make the decision to do this. It was not right away. But once he did, I could see a difference and feel a difference in the way he TOOK RESPONSIBILITY for things in our relationship... that he was hurting me, how me was hurting me, and what he needed to do to change that!


You are doing a great job of holding his feet to the fire! Make sure that you are not too hard on him in the little things. It sounds like he has made some major changes, and we definitely want to keep that rolling. If you tear apart the little things, it will discourage him. Don't stop holding his feet to the fire, though! Don't let him slip back! You are doing a great job of being his Helpmeet!! I am so happy for you guys.

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I am not just holding his feet to the fire, I'm holding his face to the fire.


Not sure if this is a good idea... with a man who almost blew himself up! :wink: My hubby said "at least she is not holding his arm to the fire!". (That is the part of him that got burned the worst.) :rotfl: At least HD can joke about it now!



His voice has gotten deeper!! I told him that it might mean he's grown from a two year old to a pre-teen! His voice is maturing. Very sexy!!


I can totally relate to this statement, too!! This is very real!! (And yes, very sexy in my hubby too!!)

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Not sure if this is a good idea... with a man who almost blew himself up! My hubby said "at least she is not holding his arm to the fire!". (That is the part of him that got burned the worst.) At least HD can joke about it now!


Good point, Eeyore, you make me smile.


I felt so hopeless on Sunday. The week before had been one of the best in my marriage, but Sunday something wasn't feeling right and I felt like giving up. I couldn't figure it out. I summed it up in a text to Kathy: "I'm being too critical and he's being too sensitive." I still couldn't figure it out Monday and still felt like I couldn't go on. This morning I've got rested eyes and it seems obvious. It's a power struggle is all.


Every exchange of words on Sunday was all wrong and I felt all messed up in my gut. The one that stands out in my mind was when our son shyly told us both the date of his first piano recital. My husband, wanting to be the new wonderful loving dad immediately made a big deal about it and said he'd get the day off and....blah blah blah. My gut told me to keep cool and non-chalant like it's not a big deal and I was trying to convey that thought to my husband without upsetting our son. Our son isn't yet comfortable with his dad wanting to be buddy-buddy with him. Here I am feeling uncomfortable for son, understanding what my husband was doing, and trying to make it less of a scene for son's sake. I bonked my husband on the head with my ink pen. Son went to his bedroom and closed the door. I didn't feel comfortable in the same room with my husband feeling sorry for himself, so I went into the other room too with the letter I was writing. Shortly, I heard my husband tapping on son's door and nearly whimpering that he's sorry....blah blah blah...Our son reassured him it was OK, son being the more mature of the two of them.


I could have strangled my husband for making it into such a big deal, first with the hooplah, then with the weird behavior. He told our son that he knows he's nervous about the recital. I wish he would not have told our son how he's supposed to feel. He may not have felt nervous. My husband was trying to be a compassionate dad, but instead of waiting to see how son felt about it, he had to make it all about himself. I was furious with him, it was the sickening icing on the cake that day. Everything was about husband's feelings. I didn't recognize why I was feeling such a turmoil.


We need days like that, although I hate for our son to have to have been involved, but it helps me see how much he takes for granted that his feelings and opinions REALLY are more important and how I automatically think my feelings aren't important. In spoken words, we both understand and agree, but in actuality, I struggle to keep my feelings hidden under the surface while taking care of his feelings. If we didn't have bad days like that one, I wouldn't be aware that for 23 years I have put his feelings on top and have hidden mine away. If I learned to minimize my opinions about things and put his first for the first 23 years, then he can learn to minimize his for at least a few weeks, I would think.


Am I growing, or am I getting worse? I can't evaluate. Am I in the same rut I've always been in? Will things ever change? Husband tried to make it up to me by the end of the day on Sunday. He tried to make it all about me, gave me a nice back rub, but I was still feeling all mixed up. We don't see eachother on Mondays because of our work schedule and he was trying to make up before we would have to part. It didn't help. I still felt abused and felt like it was my own doing all day yesterday. Woke up this morning feeling like I can face him again without being all critical and angry with him. There's no way around it, it all depends on HIS attitude. My attitude doesn't change a flip.

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Hang in there, girl! You are doing a good job.


One thing that I must point out is in relation to this statement (and your entire post, really)...


I struggle to keep my feelings hidden under the surface while taking care of his feelings.


STOP taking care of his feelings!! I fell into the same trap, and it is very counterproductive!! If he hurts you, tell him. If he hurts your son, tell him. Let HIM figure out how and what he needs to do. Remind his of the L-O-V-E analogy for apologizing. This is SO important, especially the V (validation) step! By doing this (validating how you or your son feels), he will begin to feel the pain that he has caused, and that is the biggest motivating factor to not doing it anymore!!


How old is your son? He is probably very aware of things that are going on, so while you "hate for him to be involved", he already is. Give your husband some time to figure out that balance of truly being a great Dad, without shoving himself down your son's throat. It is okay to talk to your son about what is going on ("Dad realizes that he has not been there for me, and you!") or have a family meeting (we did) and discuss what is going on. This would give your husband a GREAT opportunity to apologize to your son (and any other children??) for his past behavior, and to explain that he is trying to be a much better Dad now. He can ask them to be patient with him, also, if you feel that is appropriate (depending on their ages?).


If you feel that you are being too critical, back off and re-group. It is important to hold his feet to the fire, while not criticizing every little thing that he does. That being said, give yourself some grace too! Last week I had a couple of days when I felt like my husband could do nothing right. I told him that I realized that I was being too picky and apologized. But I also explained that my frustration was, in a large part, due to his lack of participation in general household things for so long. I was feeling overwhelmed, and while I did not want to come crashing down on his head... well, he needed to hear it and step up! Ya know?? :wink: :wink:


I hope this helps! Part of this process (towards an OHM) is to sort of distance yourself from the frustration that is being caused by your husband's actions at that moment (at least for me). When you step back a little, you can tell him what he did, etc. I know that when I am caught in the midst of it, I can't see the path that I need to be following in order to be a good Helpmeet (the frustration leads me off the path).


I pray that this makes sense and speaks to your heart. You are not alone in your journey, and I am glad that you posted your update!!

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Hi Crystal,


I'm so glad that you and Brass were able to get to an intensive! Try not to be discouraged; things are rough in the beginning for every couple ~ they were for Mr. Darcy and me too. If you both apply what you learned at the intensive, however, and continue to stay plugged in to the ministry by getting on the calls, posting on the forum and re-reading the books together a few minutes each day, you will have even greater success and a smoother transition into getting an Outrageously Happy Marriage.


The key word here, though, is both; it will go inifinitely slower, be more frustrating for you and a more painful dying process for Brass if you both don't stay plugged in and utilize all of the great support that Joel and Kathy's ministry offers. We seriously can't stress this enough.


After catching up on your thread I just want to share a few thoughts:


    many husbands are over the top with their 'new' attitudes/actions towards their wives after an intensive. While this may aggravate you at times, I promise you it's SO much better than having a husband who completely blows off everything he learned at the intensive the moment his foot steps through his front door upon returning home :roll:
    which brings me to my next point, when Brass does make an attempt and you still feel unsettled by it, by all means (as Eyeore so perfectly stated) tell him; he's not going to know what he needs to do differently if you don't. As much as you can, however, do this as a helpmeet ~ steering him towards Christlikeness in each instance. This is our role as wives in the restoration process and while difficult at times (gosh, can it ever be!)...absolutely necessary. This is not baby-ing him
    with regard to your son...again, it's a process. It will take time, finesse, tweaking, talking, redirecting, etc. The key will be this...is Brass going first? Is he making a genuine attempt? Is he doing the homework (if you were given any), getting on (and speaking up on) the calls, positively pursuing you? If he is (and even if it feels unfamiliar at times, forced or upsets you) then give some grace, coach and talk talk talk about what comes up in your heart when these things happen.
    if he isn't, give him an opportunity to recover his faux pas, own it and apologize for it while continuing to hold his face to the fire :P about where he stumbled. Be wise here, dear Crystal. Depending on a husbands level of maturity, a wife can....in her legitimate woundedness....begin to nail her husband on every thing that comes up because she's now found her voice which, of course, is a good thing. While we understand this can happen, however, it will hinder the process. There's needs to be some balance.


All this said, the main thing is to keep trusting what God is doing and wants to do in your marriage. He loves you both so much...and so do we!


Miss Elizabeth

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many husbands are over the top with their 'new' attitudes/actions towards their wives after an intensive. While this may aggravate you at times, I promise you it's SO much better than having a husband who completely blows off everything he learned at the intensive the moment his foot steps through his front door upon returning home Rolling Eyes


This is so true, Miss Elizabeth, I am thankful that my husband is trying. Very thankful. Thank-you for the comments and the reminders. I need to be held accountable, I really do. I appreciate it.


The Intensive was very emotional and it opened up a lot of buried feelings and it was tough going back home to "normal". Normal did not seem at all acceptable any more.


Husband got on the call with Joel and Kathy this Thursday. He spoke up for once and it was good.


There are deep arrested development issues going on. We are reading Angry Men together and learning a lot from it. It might not have meant as much if we hadn't been to the Intensive first. Husband is finding a lot in the book that relates to him. Me too. One thing that helped following our Sunday incident is when we realized that my anger was more or less a reflection of Husband's feelings. I learned from his temperament profile at the Intensive that he "disguises anger as hurt feelings" Wow. A lot of things falling into place. He felt my comments as criticism, got angry and then overreacted in response, not expressed as anger, but as a "good little boy". Confusing, but explainable in light of arrested development.


So, anyhow, he seems to be handling my remarks good and bad a whole lot easier now without overreacting. One day at a time.




p.s. Eeyore? Did I see your picture at a picnic? I think it was you. FUN!!

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All is good in this household. One day at a time.


Husband's high school friends are in town this weekend. The one friend comes down annually and they always get together for old times sake. Thanks to Joel and Kathy, he did not feel obligated to meet with them and did not really seem disappointed at all about it.


Instead...we went bowling. Two of our kids cheerfully came along. (The other son wasn't available, but he texted along the way to see how it was going. :) ) We had a great time together. One of the neatest things to me was on the way home the boys started a heated debate in the back seat. It wasn't loud, simply a lively debate....my husband didn't flinch. Isn't that amazing??!! I was very impressed that he even smiled at some of their logic. Whoa! This is a very attractive man, one who loves his kids! One who isn't annoyed by their very voices. Let me tell you! ::love This is the first time I've ever thought of using this smiley!












Strength is not emptied into our hearts in bulk--a supply for years to come--but is kept in reserve, and given day by day, just as the day's needs require. J.R.Miller

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::love Still pretty good here.


When at Intensive, Joel and Kathy zeroed in on our church as an unhealthy place for us. I don't know how they did it, but they did. They recommended we find a new place of worship.


We've been attending a new fresh, lively church of similar doctrine to our old church. Our old pastor called last week to speak to Eric (not me) about why we haven't been in church. Eric returned his call yesterday while I was listening in. Eric was great---no excuses & no trying to make himself look good. He defended me and blamed himself while bringing up issues from the past that happened to us in the old church. I thought Eric did well although there was a little problem with Eric being a self-righteous arrogant big head after the conversation with the pastor, but we were able to work together deflating his head back to normal size before nightfall last night.


This morning in our new church home we met some new people. Eric himself greeted them and introduced me and his mom and our sons. Most times I'm the spokesperson for our family, so it was refreshing to be the wife for a change. He introduced me as "My Sweetheart". I like that.


Eric, being on a roll, suggested that he write a letter of apology to my parents. I don't think it will be beneficial to write to my parents. My parents are the kind of people who love everybody no matter what. They like Eric and have always thought of him as the dream son in law, but that's ok with me. A letter to them would just bring up unnecessary hurts for them & I don't think it would change how they feel about either of us.


However, I think it might be a good idea to write a letter of apology to his own mom. She has a lot of past resentments from her own 58 year marriage. Eric got a lot of his behavior from his dad, but she never saw any of that, she always saw Eric as her golden boy and has always envied what she has seen in our marriage, even though everything was a farce. She is sometimes jealous and hateful to me. She is bitter and we aren't sure of her relationship with Christ. She faithfully attends church with us for the past year since she moved here, but she remains very narcisstic and sometimes difficult to love. I think an honest letter to her might be a helpful testimony to her. I might also feel better if she knew that I suffered for 23 years with some of the same stuff she dealt with. Might make it easier for her to be nice to me if she knows the truth.

Eric and I will be in prayer about it.


How many weeks has it been since the Intensive? Three? These have been three of the most hopeful weeks of my life. I feel loved, not only by my husband, but by my Savior Jesus Christ. God is so good to me. ::love

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Wow, so great to hear the good news. What a difference it makes when a husband loves his wife. Yay!!


Eric, being on a roll, suggested that he write a letter of apology to my parents.


This is a really good sign that your husband is thinking along these lines and is willing to humble himself in this way. Here's a thought: maybe this in on his heart for a reason. Maybe the process of writing this letter is going to help him get in touch on a deeper level with the pain he has caused you. I think he could write it, and you don't even have to give it to your parents.


The reason I bring this up is because our dynamic with my parents is very similar to yours. They have always loved my husband. Though they know some of our story, they have not known the whole thing. It was important to me that my husband confessed the whole truth for the sake of accountability.


When he completed the letter, I was amazed at how thorough it was. In fact, perhaps because he was further along in the process when he wrote it, it was more complete than the one he wrote to me. He understood his impact more. And you know what? I totally lost the urge to give it to my parents after I read it. It brought so much healing and I felt at that point that I didn't need to pass it along. Perhaps there is something good in his writing this letter for the two of you?


On another note, whether he writes a formal letter to his mother or not, it seems to me that there will need to be some form of communication between your husband and his mother about the true nature of your relationship. It may be painful to her initially to face the truth that her son repeated many of the hurtful dynamics that his father initiated, but it can also be healing to see that her son can turn things around and bring healing to his wife. Like you said, I think this could change the nature of your relationship with her.

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I really appreciate Heather and Jeff's Passive/Passive-Aggressive call last night. I wasn't able to listen to a whole lot of it, and Eric was working, so unless the call was still going on at midnight he didn't hear any of it. I'm counting on it being recorded and available, because it sounded very good and relevant. We plan on listening to the recording together.


Thank-you very much to those of you who put the call together and those who participated! I'm blessed to have you all.


I've challenged Eric to post 5 X week about things he's learning or ways he is growing. He has to let me check what he posts. He can't post today because we won't be seeing each other today. I was not feeling very well yesterday---headachy and nauseous. Not real bad, in the past I would have functioned as pretty normal if I had felt that badly, but I didn't push myself this time. Eric took good care of me. I had to instruct him a little, so it was good that I wasn't all that sick, but he did pretty well. He started out by talking to my back and telling me he was going to run. "No, no" says I, come to me and look me in the eye. He finally got it right, and didn't run right away. He seemed grateful through the morning that he was able to get it right and feel good about himself. He allowed me to rest in such a way that I didn't feel guilty. That's progress.


Leave it to a woman's collapsible memory. It brought to mind a couple things from the past that hurt. Eh, I won't hash it out here. Suffice it to say, his behavior yesterday was a 100% improvement. But the problem then is that he gets all proud of himself and he thinks he's good to go. That call last night about P/PA men seemed to speak about that behavior. That's good. Thank-you again for helping me deal with this head on.

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I am so glad that you felt the call last night helped you! Thank you for letting us know! We will be back next Wednesday as well, so I hope that you both can be on and speak up!


I am sorry that some of the pass memories came crashing back for you while Eric was trying to ministry to you while you were feeling under the weather...But in a way, this is good...if you can share thoes memories with him, so that he can listen and validate you...thus healing your heart. There will come a time, when you have thoes kinds of memories, the pain wont be attached anymore...but that comes when you are sharing and Eric is laying down his life for you and living this life out behind close doors with you...




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He can't even joke about it and there is no "poor me" about it. He has crossed the line a couple times: One morning he was joking about being the little boy and me the mommy---he was only jesting a brief little instant and I told him to stop it. He stopped it immediately and apologized and told me that he understands it's no joking matter. He told me he'll joke about things that are funny, but for right now, that's not even funny and he's sHe can't even joke about it and there is no "poor me" about it.



Hi there Crystal, one day you both will look back on this time (after you reach an OHM) and you will indeed be able to laugh.


You are doing a great job of holding his feet to the fire! Make sure that you are not too hard on him in the little things. It sounds like he has made some major changes, and we definitely want to keep that rolling. If you tear apart the little things, it will discourage him. Don't stop holding his feet to the fire, though! Don't let him slip back! You are doing a great job of being his Helpmeet!! I am so happy for you guys.



Important advice. Joel said he remembered your temperment. It was Melancholy, which is a great temperment.


Likes perfection. On one end, that is great in areas that need perfection but in a recovering marriage, need to make sure there is some bendability.....not alot.....just enough to make the process easier and not so stressful.


So tell me, what about the TEARS???


I haven't read your string, except to glance at it.


Blessings, Kathy

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Thanks Kathy,


Not one tear since we've been home from Intensive. I think he keeps me just on the edge. Yesterday I was a mess and he managed to be the weaker vessel so that I wouldn't spill over on to him. Makes me angry and crazy and today I have to repent for not being a Christian girl.

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I awoke at 3:38 a.m. dreaming about my sister.


In my dream, she had been in a mental institution for a very long time and I had not seen her or talked to her. We were in church together in my dream and her two daughters were babies. She was engorged and considering breast feeding the oldest one. I told her that I saw Kurt McLaughlin and that he had told me to tell her "hello".


that's when I woke up. In real life, I haven't ever met Kurt McLaughlin. He was a boy in her class that died in his early 20's. That was my first thought after I woke up. Then I remembered that my sister is also dead and then I remembered so is her oldest daughter, the one who was wanting to suckle in my dream.


Strange short dream and I laid there thinking about it for a long time. It reminded me that I need to get a mammogram. I haven't had one since before my sister died---of breast cancer. I'm overdue. I was thinking it would be nice if my husband would insist that I get a mammogram, but he wouldn't even think of it. I will have to tell him to urge me to. You know, it takes something out of it if you have to tell somebody to be concerned about you.


I do think that I'll ask him to go with me to my mammo. He has never gone to MD appointments with me except maybe once or twice grudgingly when I had to take the babies a long time ago. I also decided that I might ask him to make the call to schedule my mammo----not because *I can't*, but just because *he* CAN! It's in a new building from last time I went, so he'll have to ask where, and answer their questions about me: my name, birthdate, or whatever----He CAN do it, he knows those answers and he's capable.


He's taking me seriously. Did you see his recent post?

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:28 pm Post subject:




I received an assignment this weekend to laugh at something my kids said that was meant to be funny, an actual outside my head laugh that is.

I suppose it sounds like a silly task, but I really like the assignment for it makes me do something i have not done, sadly, and that is to actually listen to my children for their sakes and appreciate them, not listen for my sake and needs.

This is more a life assignment than just a weekend assignment.


This is very important in our family. It means a lot to our big boys. In the afternoon of the day he wrote about in the post, my husband and I were out together in the car and I had him practice laughing. I showed him the difference between his laughs. I think it was this year that he made a resolution to be able to laugh at himself. He *thinks* that he has been doing that, but what comes out is an embarrassed sniffing laugh when he laughs at himself, and it's when he's hanging out inside his own head, not when he's actually doing something goofy. I had pointed out when Joel was laughing at himself, and I told him "that is how it's done." Then I told him to imagine laughing at the 3 Stooges, it was a rich heartfelt laugh---I told him to forget about learning to laugh at himself for now, that's not important. And it's also not important to laugh at my silly humor, though, I have to tell you, I think I'm pretty funny---my husband doesn't laugh, he competes with my funnies. But anyway, that's not important right now. I told him to laugh at his boys. And he went home, and he did, and the boys loved it. They didn't know that their dad was doing anything different, I think they just perceived that they were being especially funny that day (Halloween Day). It was fun.


OK, that's about laughter, now about tears: Kathy asked me about tears. I shed a lot of tears at the Intensive. I asked my husband when the last time he saw me shed tears. He said the last time he remembered was 23 years ago, just after we were married he walked into our bedroom to find me crying. I told him that i want to go home. He told me "It's a little late for that now." That's his memory, not mine, I don't remember it. Anyhow, we told Kathy, and she told Eric that at that moment he closed the door on my tears and she told me to go home and cry, or something like that---I may be misquoting, she told me she'd be watching for me to have a meltdown and that she'd be happy when I do. I haven't.


Obviously, Eric is not a safe place for me yet. He is trying. He's trying real hard and working with me instead of against me. But he still often feels like my little boy that I have to guide.


He's done some big things, yeah, but.... well, and I mean, it's in his heart now while it wasn't BEFORE the Intensive. There have been days when I feel like I am about to be able to relax in his arms and then he blows it and then I begin wondering if I am self-sabotaging.


But when I think about it...it wasn't ME that made the Yankees more important than Love-Making this week-end---THAT didn't come from me. We had an empty house----ALL the kids were gone, which is very very rare, but there happened to be one of the most important games of the year on too. I went to bed alone. I'm a tattletale.


Going back to my sister again. This week would have been her 33rd wedding anniversary and also the 8th anniversary of her divorce. Divorce, sudden death of her 19 y/o daughter and dx with breast cancer all within 5 years. Which one of those things actually killed her???


Nobody is listening.

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May I suggest something? GET THAT MAMMO and get it NOW! I had one last week and have to go back next week for more test since they "saw" something on the first one, some kind of change in my right breast! I too have Breast Cancer in my family, and my grandmother died from BC. So weather or not FD makes this appointment or not, get it done, your health is more important!


That dream you had, sounds like someone was telling you or pushing you to get this done as well!


Now why do you feel that you can't break down and cry? I know that you said it could be because FD hasn't made it safe for you yet, but holding it all inside is the worst thing you can do...let's give him the chance to see how he will handle your tears...he might surprise you and support you through this.


When we ladies hold back our feelings, they will build up inside of us, pushing them down is the worst thing you can do for yourself. You need to get this "posion" out of you! Husbands need to see the tears, so they can connect to the wounds they have caused us. No it's not easy to let it all out, but I promise you, it does feel so much better once that stuff is out!


So think about this some, when the hurt is building up...it's ok to cry and meltdown.




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Now why do you feel that you can't break down and cry? I know that you said it could be because FD hasn't made it safe for you yet, but holding it all inside is the worst thing you can do...let's give him the chance to see how he will handle your tears...he might surprise you and support you through this.


The tears simply aren't there. I don't feel like I'm purposefully holding back.


And yes, I think the dream had a purpose.


Thanks, Heather. When is your next test? Praying for you right now.


I heard a nurse telling a patient yesterday how difficult it is to get these tests done when there's a family history, and she stressed, like you, how important it is to do it and do it now. I was the nurse speaking to one of my patients.

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My husband spoke up and asked questions on one call in October on a Thursday evening. I was finally able to listen to the whole call last night to see what was said. I had been asleep at the time of the call, so until yesterday I only got to hear Freedog's perspective of the call when he told me about it the next day. .


When I listened to my husband on the call, I started to feel agitated with him, because I felt like he sounded clueless and that he misrepresented me, but Joel, Kathy and I think it was Braceman answered his questions perfectly. Oh wow, they said just the right things.


So, I got to thinking about it and the way my husband sounded and remembered that was three weeks ago. Only one week after the Intensive. You know what? My husband has grown a lot in those three weeks. I do not think he would have asked those same questions and said those same things today. Instead of feeling agitated about the way he sounded, I need to be praising GOD for the changes in his heart in only three weeks! He's had a few slip ups since then, but the slips didn't last long and didn't crescendo. Yesterday afternoon, he STOPPED HIMSELF after he made one tiny self-conscious slip that I heard, but it wasn't something I would have mentioned. HE mentioned it. He is becoming safer and safer.


He mentioned in the call that I push him away when he tries to hug. I haven't done that so much after the Intensive---because I haven't felt the need. The reason I push him away is when it feels like he is reaching for reassurance from me and it repulses me. But---like my explanation about practicing his "good laugh" and his "bad laugh", on good days I have him practice "good hugs" and "bad hugs". heh, I even practiced me saying "stop" when he's starting a "good hug" and the response I expect from him isn't to grab me and insist that "this is a good hug", but all he has to do is stop and say "OK". Practice, practice on those good days and it feels like I have a little bit of control about when I am grabbed or not grabbed. Makes a big difference.


One morning he smiled at me first thing in the morning, gave me a hug and a kiss like always, and after a few minutes he asked me if the face he was making was a smile. Yes, it is, and then I apologized to him---I realized that I had intentionally frowned at his smile. I hadn't consciously done it, but I realize I frown to "test the waters" so to speak. If he gets broody just because I don't return his smile then I know where he's at in his own heart. I didn't do it on purpose and I don't recommend doing that and I did apologize. Telling him, however, did seem to clear things up for him. I have made things really hard on him these last four weeks.


We are not striving for an "improved marriage", we're striving for the best marriage in the state. That means we're competing with John and Susan and others who live way far north in our state.


Freedog is becoming a very lovable guy. He really truly is.


And, since I'm up this morning getting ready for work, I'm thinking about work and thought I'd mention that it feels like I'm becoming more lovable too. I've always been a friendly person at work---I know how to be interested in people and loving, but I've noticed since attending the Intensive that my "popularity quota" at work has risen. People seem more attracted to talking to me and being with me. I am totally unaware of anything I do differently, but I feel less like people avoid me. It's strange. Like at the Intensive----people commented that I looked so much better on Saturday and Sunday----which is laughable, because I got so little sleep, especially on that Friday night when I cried in my husband's arms. I should have looked all puffy and awful, but instead people said I looked calmer and happier. That must be what's going on at work. I guess a person can't hide what stress they feel inside, huh? (duh!)


Anyow---thanks to all on the calls and to Joel and Kathy, Braceman, John and Susan, Heather, Lorna, etc, etc, etc and ESPECIALLY thanks to God my Father!!

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it feels like I'm becoming more lovable too


That is awesome. Your husband is becoming safer, and you are able to call him out on things that he is doing "wrong", and he is responding in a positive way. And he is starting to stop himself and make changes in how he is behaving as well. Such good stuff!!


You guys have really come a long way in a short time. Your mindset of "Practice, practice on those good days" is wonderful. I am learning so much from you. This is similar to some of the things that HD and I have been struggling with... when things are bad, it is so hard to pull out of it unless you have a plan in place ahead of time. And I think that the "practice" mindset is a big part of that.


Your warm, Godly responses to your husband really are the key to your progress. That, and stopping him and asking him to "try again" when he approaches a hug or an apology in a selfish way... It is so important to make him stop, and asking him to try again. This is all very good. I am so proud of you!!

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